I am sitting on the plane, on my way to another Sister’s Weekend. It is the 10th anniversary of this event and everyone is pumped to get there. My kids were out of school this entire week due to an ice storm in Atlanta that pretty much shut the state down. As much as I love my hubby, three little munchkins and Simba (our new puppy), I was extremely excited to be getting (running) away for some “sista girl” time with my closest friends. As I was walking through the airport, by myself, my mind began to wander. A feeling of acceptance came over me, and I decided to write my next piece on the thoughts that inspired that feeling. What I began to reflect on is the fragile state that is being human. What do I mean by this? It is human nature to protect ourselves from anything that might hurt us. When I think about the closest people in my life, not one of them hasn’t let me down in some way, shape, or form. But by just saying that last statement, I made their “humanness” about me. When I think about it now, I realize that not one of those people ever intended to disappoint, hurt, or let me down. We so often make everything a personal attack against ourselves. We are all on a journey to find our place in this world, and through that journey we go through so many experiences that cause us to have limitations in how we interact with others. It is our limitations, past hurts, disappointments, insecurities, and unrealistic expectations that usually cause us to hurt the ones we love most. By releasing all these burdens from others, I also forgive myself for my own “humanness”.
The word honesty has helped clarify this for me. Finding a place where you are honest with yourself and with others, despite limitations, will give you a freedom to not only accept your own “humanness”, but more importantly, you will be able to accept your closest loved ones as simply human as well. We all say that we want people to be honest, but I can personally say that it continues to be a struggle for me to stay true to myself if it might cause discomfort, hurt or conflict with those I love. What I have learned is most would prefer for you not to be honest, even if it makes your life uncomfortable. Being honest can end a friendship. Being honest sometimes hurts. Being honest is scary. I’ve taken a couple of risks with honesty, and I can sincerely say that while in the storm, I questioned whether or not it was worth it. Now, after acknowledging that the pain was coming from a place of limitation from all sides, and after accepting the good and bad of the journey, I realize the end result of honesty was much healthier for all involved.
We often say, “she /he hurt me because…Or I really wish he/she could be more…Or it really disappoints me when they do this or that…What if we turned those around a little and said something like…Maybe he/or she did that because they were feeling really vulnerable….Or that really disappointed me, but I wonder what might have caused he/she to do that?...Or I love them just the way they are even through their limitations…When we take ourselves (and our own limitations) out of the equation, we realize that many times it is not about us. We often take ownership of other people’s “stuff”, but if we concentrate more on improving our own “stuff”, we will be much less disappointed by others, and less apt to blame others for our own hurt, disappointment, or “humanness”. When we start to be true and honest to and with ourselves by accepting our own limitations without guilt or regret, we begin to be more patient with others and expect no more than what one is capable of giving.
Combating Mental Health
6 months ago